The Party’s Over

After a flurry of activity to launch this weekend (now almost past), it’s ended with a quiet sigh of disappointment that the time passed by so quickly. In addition to having my brother and sister-in-law come for a visit, my Beloved’s brother also called late Friday night to say he’d be rolling in around midnight!

As I heaved that quiet sigh late this afternoon, the lyrics to the long-ago song by The Lettermen came to mind:  The Party’s Over. Back in high school, this was the song most often played at the end of a dance. (I regret the YouTube to which I’ve linked above has extremely rough images should you decide to watch it and the sound quality isn’t great either. For better quality, I’m also sharing the song from my own audio collection … hit play below.)Lettermen

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Friends Forever

There’s a statement by C. S. Lewis from The Four Loves which has great currency for me. It says:  “Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought that no one but myself ….'” Wisdom from the pen of Lewis rarely disappoints. This statement is no exception.Terri

Back in the mid-1960s, I became acquainted with one of the new girls in my class at junior high school. Little did I know that our friendship would deepen and grow, that eventually my older brother would marry her, and that we’d sustain a lifelong bond of friendship that only grows sweeter as we grow older.

Through the years as we’ve both raised our families, we’ve experienced similar (though separate) lives. After marriage, the stages of work and childbearing and completing education and more work and more education and moving to different cities as our husbands made career changes and the loss of parents in death and … all those common milestones of life, we always seemed to have the “What! You too?” moments between us. Continue Reading →

The Vilification of They

The message often starts out with an urgent statement: You Need To See This Now! In one form or another, the information that follows urges you to consider special, often proprietary, information they’re anxious to reveal to you … for a price of course … IF you respond NOW. Don’t wait, drop what you’re doing, get it now!

Because this offer isn’t going to last … Really, this is the last day or last week. So don’t miss your chance for the best value!!!!

urgent

During the virtual strong-arm pitch, there’s often a veiled (or in other cases quite direct) reference to an unnamed but nefarious enemy ‒ the ubiquitous faceless They ‒ an entity who’s on the trail to have “this video” taken down. Don’t let this happen! Watch the video now BEFORE THEY MAKE ME TAKE IT DOWN.immediately

Know what I’m talking about? The videos might be “investment” pitches or work-at-home “opportunities” or even an individual selling a self-published book or supposedly a one-of-a-kind “health and fitness” routine … to name a few I’ve run across. The purveyors play on your fear of missing out … or having to pay triple after the offer expires. They don’t let you take time for due consideration. It has to be NOW … and if you don’t believe them, don’t be surprised when you come back tomorrow and the video’s gone … because THEY MADE ME TAKE IT DOWN!
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Selfie De-generation

Today, I give you the tale of a man and his mistress. It’s a tale as old and sordid as history itself, but also as current as today’s scandal-driven news headlines as well as countless film and television plots. In this particular case, the man has his mistress. He delights in her, lavishes her with priceless baubles and they live together happily for a while, but over time, she becomes increasingly bored and decides to see other men.old-man-and-mistress-1884

Naturally, the man reacts with dismay to this turn of events. He’s jealous and wants her to himself, but the mistress finds his declarations of love to be unconvincing. If he really loves me so much, why doesn’t he make me his wife? she reasons. And, because he won’t marry her, she decides she’s not going to remain in an exclusive dalliance with him. She will toy with his emotions just exactly as he has toyed with hers. Occasionally, she even spends the night with other lovers, a pattern which makes him furious.

Eventually, the man becomes more demanding and quarrelsome, causing the mistress to leave in disgust. She travels to her father’s home to live, completely abandoning her lover. She reminds herself, there are other fish in the sea. Continue Reading →

No(!) Opinion

Because my Beloved and I are one of the diminishing number of US households that continues to maintain a landline, we’ve gotten used to contending with repeated calls from Heather and/or Rachel from Card Services. Yes, our number is on the Do Not Call Registry. I’ve even gone so far as requesting the phone company block certain numbers. For a short period of time, I even went through the process of filing regular “complaints” on the Do Not Call website. A lot of good that did … wasting more of my time. But the aggravation from these telemarketer/ scammers has continued unabated.

The 2012 news reports that purport a successful FTC action against Heather (including jail time) have yet to be borne out by my experience as she’s still getting through to me. (Is she calling from jail?) As for Rachel, I think she’s still calling, but I’ve stopped answering.Rachel-robocall

Now, with the Mid-Term Election only three weeks from today, we’ve once more entered that crazy lunatic land populated by non-stop Robocalls and Opinion Polls. Because we’re in Arkansas where there are a number of hotly-contested races, the political ads have been running since March and the polling has seemed almost constant since Labor Day. Continue Reading →

CS . . . I

Customer Service (CS) is an area where retailers try to outdo each other. They may not be able to help the customers distinguish a difference in merchandise, but Customer Service is memorable. Customers remember when they’ve been treated poorly … or when and where they’ve been well-treated and appreciated for being nothing more than a customer.

In this regard, Kohl’s Department Store is a terrific place! For one, our local Kohl’s store isn’t situated in the mall, but in a strip mall area. This location keeps my stress level down because I don’t have to enter the nearby mall itself. (No, I don’t care much for shopping in general.) So Kohl’s is ideal for me … if a product is unavailable at Amazon or must be seen/handled before purchase, Kohl’s works for me. I can find clothing, gifts and housewares all in the same location.kohls2

Kohl’s has a return policy that is crazy good! They call it “Hassle-Free Returns” and they mean it … because as someone who changes her mind, I’ve returned plenty of things so I speak from first-hand experience. I may like an item in the store, then get home and realize the purchase was a mistake. No point in letting that hideous thing be a constant reminder hanging there in the back of my closet … it goes back to the store! Since they promise No Questions Asked – Hassle-Free returns, you’d better believe I’m going to make them keep that promise. Kohls

If you’ve dealt with other retailers who require a pint of blood … and your first-born child (potty-trained, of course) … before they issue a store credit that expires in 30, 60, or 90 days … and you can only redeem it on Tuesday between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., you’ll understand my affinity to Kohl’s and their return policy. Continue Reading →

Viral Spiral?

If you’ve been living under a rock for the last two weeks, I’ll be the first to announce:  Ebola is trending! Now I’m not just talking about trending on social media like Twitter and FaceBook where the hashtag #Ebola stays the same no matter what posting language is utilized. The virus has become a main topic of news stories on news sites and rumor blogs. With the airports beginning to conduct screenings on passengers, #Ebola looks to be a focus of our attention for some time to come.ebola4

I had planned to screen-cap some tweets and post them as samples of what people were tweeting, but the emotion is almost palpable, so I scrapped that idea. I’ll also steer clear of posting heartbreaking photos of suffering people, though they are easily found in a Google search … yuck!

Like most people who are touched by the suffering of others, this situation has definitely caused me to reflect about the brevity of life and what’s really important. I have friends and family living in various places around the world, and my concern for them has definitely increased. I’m also concerned about my elderly mother and mother-in-law. Because my mother-in-law lives in a facility with more than 100 others, in the event the virus spreads, I know her exposure would escalate. My mother requires regular blood screenings at her local hospital, and that could also increase exposure. Continue Reading →

Girl Trouble

From about the time children reach two or three years of age, they are quite good at expressing their independent natures. “I can do it myself!” It’s a common exclamation. Once a child has learned he or she is a unique individual, the natural inclination is to seek autonomy.

Driven to Drive

Driven to Drive

This natural inclination sets up an interesting situation for parents. In the picture above, our elder son (now a motorcycle police officer) was permitted to take a short ride around the yard with a friend who’d ridden to our house on his motorcycle. I think the boy may have been three years old at the time.

Before his birth, this child embodied perpetual motion. By the time he was two years old, he was riding a two-wheel bike (sans training wheels). Once, I left the car running (with him buckled into a car seat) and sprinted into the house. When I hurried back to the car, my son was ensconced in the driver’s seat reaching his hand to the steering column gear shift … about to throw it in gear! He’d seen this action often … and knew he could make it happen! “I can do it myself!” Continue Reading →

American Raphael

People who have read this blog over the last couple years will be aware of my love for genealogy. For one sample, I posted here about my Philadelphia forebears, a family with the surname West. The West Family is my 88-year-old mother’s line and she is the last known person from her clan. With the common name of West, doing research to locate other family members who might be distantly related to her has always been a challenge.John West Sign

The last time I was in Philadelphia (doing family history research), I snapped the above picture. My mom and I had driven out to Newtown where she’d lived during her years in boarding school. There’s a historic marker on one of the main roads through town drawing attention to this historic site. An innkeeper named John West owned a tavern there in 1742.

John West was the father of painter Benjamin West who was born on this day in 1738. Little Benjamin would have been about four years old when his father owned this tavern … in the same town where my mother, almost two hundred years later, began her education not a mile from this landmark.

What could be simpler, right? Continue Reading →

Glio Bio Die-O

Back in 1993, my daddy had been experiencing health issues. As one might expect, he consulted his physician and within a short period, the diagnosis came back: brain tumor. Of course, they recommended an aggressive treatment plan including surgery to remove the golf-ball sized glioblastoma from its nesting place inside his skull. At the time, he was seventy years old, enjoying retirement in Florida and he had even taken up the game of golf … not so much to play competitively but to regularly enjoy an invigorating time out of doors.

NormRuthe1

Norman and Ruthe about 1992

The photo above pictures my parents. I think they must have been eating at a Mexican restaurant, but this was a typical pose for my dad, being silly, finding ways to entertain others. This picture is a perfect example of his playful personality.

As he was prepped before his surgery took place, the hospital personnel chatted with him. They knew the seriousness of this operation and the potential that Daddy could die on the operating table. In his conversations with them, he was his usual buoyant, gregarious self, seeming to show little concern about the outcome. When they queried him (thinking perhaps he simply didn’t understand what he faced), he told them:  Whether I live or die, it doesn’t matter. I’m confident in my eternal destination. He was at peace with his situation. Continue Reading →

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